Tetanus is a condition that leads to severe, disabling muscle spasms caused by a neurotoxin that poisons the body’s nervous system. Tetanus may be prevented by staying current on your tetanus vaccination. State mandated well child guidelines include Tdap and DTaP vaccinations, depending on the age and weight of the child.
- Muscle spasms in the jaw
- Difficulty swallowing or stiffness in the neck, shoulders or back
- Spasms can spread to the abdomen, arms and thighs
Who is at risk?
Unvaccinated, mortality rates are high for individuals over 60. Anyone who has encountered a puncture wound involving rusty or dirty metal, such as a nail or a barbed wire, is susceptible to developing the condition.
Tetanus is usually treated in the hospital and often in the intensive care unit with antibiotics and medication to neutralize the toxin that has been released.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
Seek emergency medical care right away if symptoms follow an accidental puncture wound, especially if the patient has not been immunized.
Tetanus treatment and shots are available now at Pulse-MD Urgent Care in Wappingers Falls, NY.
For more information on Tetanus Prophylaxis, see the following websites:
New Recommendations for Tetanus Prophylaxis from Healthline
CDC on Tetanus Vaccines
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